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Thy pow'r! What thought can measure thce, or

tongue Relate thue! Greater now in thy return Than from the giant Angels! thee that day 605 Thy thunders magnity'a! but to creale, Is ureater than created to destroy. Who can impair thee, nighty King, or bound Thy empire! Easily the proud attempt Of Spirits apostate and their counsels vain 610 Thou hast repell d, while impiously they thought Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks To lessen thee, against his purpose serves To manitest the more thy might: bis evil

615 Thou lisest, and from thence creat'st more good. Witness this new-made world, another Heav'n l'rom Heav'm-gate not far, founded in view On the clear Hvaline, the glassy sea : Of amplitude almost immense, with stars 620 Num'rovs, and ev'ry star perhaps a world Of destined habitation; but thou know'st Their seasons : aniong these the seat of Men, Earth with her nether ocean circumfused, 62Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy Men, And sons of Men, whom God hath thus advanced, Created in his image, there to dwell And worship him, and in reward to rule Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air, And multiply a race of worshippers

630 Holy and just ! thrice happy if they know Their happiness, and persevere upright!

So sung they, and the empyrean rung With Hallelujahs. Thus was Sabl ath kept. And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd 65 How first this world and face of things began, And what before thy memory was done From the beginning, that posterity Inform'd by thee might know; if else thon scck'st Aught, not surpassing human measure, say. 6-10

605. Giant, not in allusion to their stature it is supposed, but to their pride and fierceness.

621. Nether, lo disliug uislı it from the water above the firniameul.

BOOK VIII.

THE ARGUMENT.

Adam inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully anrwered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge: Adam assents : and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he ren:embered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fii society, his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon; who, after admonitions repeated, departs. The Angel ended, and in Adam's ear So charming left his voice, that he awhile Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear; Then, as new waked, thus gratefully reply'd:

What thanks sufficient, or what recompense 6 Equal have I to render thee, divine Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafed This friendly condescension to relate Things else by me unsearchable, now heard 10 With wonder, but delight, and, as is due, With glory attributed to the High Creator? Something yet of doubt remains, Which only thy solution can resolve. When I behold this goodiy frame, this world, 15 Of Heav'n and Earth consisting, and compute Their magnitudes; this earth, a spot, a grain, An atom, with the firmament compared And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll Spaces incomprehensible (for such

20 Their distance argues, and their swift return Diurnal) merely to officiate light Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot, One day and night, in all their vast survey

15. Allusion is made in the following part of the discourse be "ween Raphael and Adam, to the two most celebrated systems of astronomy, those of Proleny and Copernicus: the difference in which was, that the former made the earth, the latter the sun, the centre of the universe. Adam speaks in allusion to the Ptolemaic systeni, ard the Angel answers by detailing the usual explanations formerly given of the difficulties alleged.

19. Number'd, Ps. cxlvii. 4.

Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire 25
How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater, so manifold to this one use,
For aught appears, and on their orbs imposo 30
Such restless revolution, day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Served by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives 35
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.
So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Entring on studious thoughts abstruse; which Eve
Perceiving where she sat retired in signt, 41
With lowliness majestic from her seat,
And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth almong her fruits and flow’rs,
To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom, 45
Her nursery: they at her coming sprung,
And, touch'd by her fair tendence, gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high: such pleasure she reserved, 50
Adam relating, she sole auditress;
Her husband, the relator, she preferr'd
Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather. He, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute 55
With conjugal caresses; from his lip
Not words alone pleased her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd :
With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went,
Not unattended, for on her, as queen, 60
A pomp of winning graces waited still,
And from allout her shot darts of desire
Into all eyes to wish her still in sight.
And Raphael, now to Adam's doubt proposed,
Benevolent and facile, thus reply'd : 65
To ask or search I blame thee not; for Heav'n
Hs is the book of God before thee set,

Wherein to road his wondrous works, and learn
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years.
This to attain, wbether Heav'n move or Earth, 76
Imports not, if thou reckon right : the rest
From Man or Angel the Great Architect
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
His secrets, to be scann'd by them who ought
Rather admire: or if they list to try

75
Conjecture, he his fabric of the Heav'ns
Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heav'n
And calculate the stars, how they will wield 80
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appearances, how gird the sphere
With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er,
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb.
Already by thy reasoning this I guess,

85 Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest That bodies bright and greater should not serve The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journeys run, Earth sitting still, when she alone receives The benefit. Consider first, that great

90 Or bright infers not excellence: the earth, Though, in comparison of Heav'n, so small, Nor glist'ring, may of solid goud contain More plenty than the sun that barren shines, Whuse virtue on itself works no effect, But in the fruitful earth; there first received His beams, unactive else, their vigour find. Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries Officious, but to thee earth’s habitant. And for the Heav'n's wide circuit, let it speak 100 The Maker's high magnificence, who built So spacious, and his line stretch'd out so far, That man may know he dwells not in his own: An edifice too large for him to fill, Lodged in a small partition, and the rest 105

80. Calculate, te observe scientifically. 83. Centric, or concentric, are spheres whose centre is the same with that of the earth.- Eccentric are the contrary.-Cycle is a circle, and Epicycle a circle upon a circle. They are terms invented by the Ptolemaics, and used in explaining their system.

102. Job xxviii. 5.

95

Ordain'd for usts to his Lord best known.
The swiftness of those circles attribute,
Though numberless, to his omnipotence,
That to corporeal substances could add

130
Speed almost spiritual. Me thou think'st not slow,
Who since the morning-hour set out from Heav'n,
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arrived
In Eden, distance inexpressible
By numbers that have name. But this urge,
Admitting motion in the Heav'ns, to shew 115
Invalid that which thee to doubt it moved;
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth.
God, to remove his ways from human sense,
Placed Heav'n from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in things too high, 121
And no advantage gain. What if the sun
Be centre to the world, and other stars,
By his attractive virtue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds? 125
Their wand'ring course now high, now low, then hid,
Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
In six thou seest, and what if sev'nth to these
The planet earth, so steadfast though she seem,
Insensibly three diff'rent motions move?

130 Which else to sev'ral spheres thou must ascribe, Moved contrary with thwart obliquities, Or save the sun his labour, and that swift Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb, supposed, Invisible else above all stars, the wheel

135 Of day and night; which needs not thy belief, If earth industrious of herself fetch day Travelling east, and with her part averse From the sun's beam meet night, her other part Still luminous by his ray. What if that light, 140 Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air, To the terrestrial moon, be as a star Enlight'ning her by day, as she by night This earth ? reciprocal, if land be there, Fields and inbabitants. Her spots thou seest 145

122. The Copernican system is now mentioned. 134. Drurnal rhomb, explained in the next line, as, the wheel of day and night

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